The Very Best of Canned Heat

The Very Best of Canned Heat

Most people know Canned Heat best for the two classic-rock radio staples that start off this anthology: "On the Road Again" and "Goin' Up the Country." But they were among the best of the many blues-rock bands to emerge in the U.S. during the style's late-'60s/early-'70s heyday. They backed up John Lee Hooker and earned his admiration (you can hear them here together on "Whiskey and Wimmen'"), and you can't ask for better blues cred than that. This collection captures cuts from all across their six-year tenure at Liberty/United Artists, demonstrating the depth of their blues-baked sound. Not only are they adept at re-energizing tunes like Delta bluesman William Harris's "Bullfrog Blues" and Elmore James's "Rollin' and Tumblin'"; they could convincingly crank out their own burning blues tunes (like "Same All Over") and dig into an extended boogie jam ("Fried Hockey Boogie") without descending into tedium. And even after the departure of guitar star Henry Vestine, the band turned out some blistering blues ("Let's Work Together," "Future Blues") with guitar hero Harvey Mandel.

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